M: Steffi lost her job early this year. Their company had to lay off employees to survive. She understood the decision. Her mother has kidney problems. She’s not spending for it but finances in the family have been tight. They are not rich. And the impact of having no job was hard for her so much so that she’s losing interest in all she does. How can she get her motivation back? As a saying goes, “the best thing to do when you fall down is to get back on your knees,” and if I may add, and pray. Sometimes, we just have to lift it all up to God when we don’t know what else to do. Let go and let God. Easier said than done, though.
DJ: Unemployment, sickness in the family, financial struggles in a time of a pandemic — it’s understandable for Steffi to feel discouraged. The more she’ll have to eat right, get enough sleep and take care of herself. I also learned, going through a difficult heartbreak, the importance of sleep. Lack of sleep leaves a person’s brain exhausted. Studies also show how it amplifies negative emotions, such as anger and frustration. I hope she’s not facing all these alone. I recommend that she turns to family, her trusted friends even through Zoom, considering the current quarantine status of Cebu. I believe writing us an email is already a step in the right direction. She’s reaching out. Engaging in clubs, group conferences and other spaces online will also not only open her to new learnings but to meaningful connections too, with other people.
M: Don’t hurry about getting your motivation back but don’t also wallow in despair. It’s harder to bounce back for some and it takes time to get our groove back, so try to go through each day with hope in your heart and faith that all these too, shall pass. Try not to keep it all to yourself. I agree with DJ. Talk to friends if you do not want to burden your family. Or share your worries with a family member so they know what you are going through and they can help you go through it.
DJ: I experienced losing a job. What I learned from it is how action serves as an antidote to despair or anxiety. It’s tempting to just confine yourself in a room and not talk to people. And if she’s feeling the same, I am encouraging her to fight such tendencies. I hope she’s paying close attention to those thoughts. Stay in the present. There’s too much uncertainty these days. Obsessing about the future can only intensify her worries. Watching short but funny video clips helped me in the past. I learned that whatever the mind is focused on, it expands. Comic relief, while temporary, can give the mind a break and shifts thoughts to something positive, such as laughter. All the support she can get — a podcast, an inspirational song, motivational keynotes, a listening ear — can at least ignite her passion which will then keep her hopes alive.
M: Everything has to go through a process. Like a seed buried under the ground, there is some darkness before being brought out to the light. All things are passing. God alone does not change. Keep on keeping on.
DJ: We can’t control everything but we can control some things. It matters that she keeps her focus on the areas of her life that she has more influence on. I know her mom’s condition worries her but there’s not much she can do in that area except to care for her. And if she zooms her mind toward finding a new job and works on it, she’s increasing her chances of bouncing back. Whatever can change for the better, that hopefully is where she’ll concentrate on. No matter how small. One step at a time. I know it sounds cliché but this too shall pass. What I hope and pray is for Steffi to keep going.